Cleary University to Unveil Museum Dedicated to DIA-Trained Artist Arthur Secunda

Posted: September 6, 2012

Arthur Secunda, an internationally-renowned artist whose career has spanned seven decades, will be immortalized with a permanent museum dedicated to his works at Cleary University. The museum will be unveiled on Sunday, October 7, 2012 at a special fundraiser featuring the artist himself.

Born in Jersey City, New Jersey on November 12, 1927, Secunda’s studies began at Cass Tech and the Detroit Institute of Arts as a teenager and continued in New York at the Art Students League and New York University. After a stint in the Air Force as an artist, he then studied in Mexico, Paris and Italy—thanks to the GI bill. His shows have been seen worldwide and his works are represented in most major museums in the country including the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the UCLA Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Phoenix Museum.

“I am so appreciative to the many people involved in this creative renaissance of my years of artistic efforts, many of whom I will never know, and many who are old friends,” said Arthur Secunda. “I can only be forever humbled and express a minute fraction of the required gratitude for such a momentous climax to my long career.”

Directed by Lee Jean-Gilles of Pierre Paul Design in Ann Arbor, the Arthur Secunda Museum is being built around the extensive Secunda collection of C. Edward and Mary Ellen Wall. In the years ahead, they plan to gift approximately 500 works to the museum, with the hope that other collectors of Secunda’s work also will donate significant artworks over time.

“Arthur Secunda is a gifted and renowned artist who has lived, worked and exhibited his art throughout the world,” said C. Edward Wall. “But his roots are here in Michigan. He lived here in his youth, began the study of art at Cass Tech and the Detroit Institute of Arts and his family continued to live here all their lives. Wherever Secunda lived and worked, he always returned to Detroit. This was his one major constant in life. Thus, this is where a museum honoring his life and work should find a permanent home.”

Cleary University will use select classrooms and meeting rooms, public hallways and other wall space throughout the Livingston Campus to create several galleries comprising the Arthur Secunda Museum, while also providing space for sculpture gardens and areas for two-dimensional works and other artists’ exhibitions. The museum will be open to the public and will not charge admittance fees. “We thank the administration and trustees of Cleary for giving us this special opportunity to share what we have loved collecting with others,” said Wall.

When asked why a business school would install such a large collection of fine art, Cleary University President Tom Sullivan stated, “Research shows that the arts and business education have a strong correlation, particularly revolving around the role of the artist as entrepreneur and all that it encompasses (i.e. marketing, business development, public relations, management, contract representation, sales, etc.). There are also many studies that have found that something as simple as viewing fine art relieves stress and improves psychological well-being—which will obviously benefit our students.”

“For an artist, the honor of having an academic university museum to permanently codify and display an artist’s oeuvre is a formidable dream come true, but also incurs a weighty responsibility and challenge to the community,” said Secunda. “For better or for worse, the completed art works now speak for themselves: it is now up to the students and others to look hard, allowing themselves to develop keen eyes, belief in their personal sense of thinking outside the box, and confidence in unorthodox solutions to complex abstract problems.”

Tickets to the museum unveiling gala are $200 each and can be purchased by contacting Linda Rentz at lrentz@cleary.edu or by phone at 517.586.3010. Event and museum details are located at www.arthursecundamuseum.org.